Do not follow your passion

Follow your passion” has been for a long time a sort of “gospel” when most people talk about accomplishing success. Thousands of career advisors, coaches, “experts” and self-help books spread the gospel every year on how, in order to be succesful, you must “follow your passion“.

Well … Cal Newport, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and author of the new book: So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love (Amazon affiliate link), recently spoke at Google where he shared his views on why “follow your passion” is actually a terrible advice and on what it takes to build skills that matter and, as a result, develop a remarkable career by creating work you love.

The presentation’s duration is around 40 minutes. Trust me, I know how valuable your time is, and I can tell you that watching these 40 minutes is most definitely worth it.



By the way, I have not yet have the opportunity to read the book (is not yet available on Kindle (Amazon affiliate link) [why Amazon?]), but based on this video and on the book’s summary, it looks like this is an important book that you should definitely check out, regardless of where you are in your career.

Related post:

1. Seth Godin on risk taking, initiative, curiosity and much more


2 responses to “Do not follow your passion

  1. That’s bullshit.

    I belive that anyone can make a living from something they enjoy doing. It’s hard work, but it can be done. In the end, who is happier?

    Here’s my story:

    • Hi Richard,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree 100% with you that anyone can make a living from something they enjoy. That however, is not the point of Cal’s argument. I do not know if you took the time to watch the entire video, but basically he argues that matching your job to a preexisting passion is not enough. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.
      The fact is that a lot of people think that “following their passion” is enough. They neglect the hard work, dedication and many other factors required to succeed. Passion alone is not going to “pay the bills” 🙂
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment and for sharing your story.

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